What You Need To Know
Wednesday, May 15 -- vs. New Mexico United FC, 7:30 p.m. (U.S. Open Cup)
Saturday, May 18 -- vs. Las Vegas Lights FC, 7:30 p.m.
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As USL Championship sides enter the U.S. Open Cup in its second round this week, Phoenix Rising FC begins its sixth run in the tournament with a matchup against first-year USL Championship club New Mexico United FC on Wednesday, May 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and gates are scheduled to open at 6:30 p.m.
This will be the second meeting between the two clubs in 2019. The first matchup was during Phoenix Rising’s home opener at Casino Arizona Field on March 16. In that wild 3-3 draw, Rising came back from a goal deficit three separate times for the hard-earned point. Midfielder Solomon Asante notched a brace while forward Jason Johnson added a goal of his own. Former Rising FC forward Kevaughn Frater notched a goal for New Mexico United against his former club.
Phoenix Rising comes off a 3-1 win over Rio Grande Valley last Friday night at Casino Arizona Field. Forward Adam Jahn notched a brace and midfielder James Musa capped off the scoring with a rocket long-distance goal from over 25 yards away.
New Mexico United continues its road trip coming from El Paso and a 2-2 draw against Locomotive FC. The club needed a 79th-minute equalizer from Ryan Williams to come away with a road point.
With a win on Wednesday night, Phoenix Rising would host the winner of Colorado Springs Switchbacks vs. FC Denver in the third round of the tournament on Wednesday, May 29, at Casino Arizona Field.
Not too far from home
Four of PHX's nine USOC matches have been road matches but just two of them have actually been outside of Arizona (Portland, Ore., and Fresno, Calif.). The other two road matches took place in Tucson and Chandler.
Plenty of goal scorers
PHX has scored 16 goals in USOC play and they have been scored by 15 different goal scorers. The only PHX player to have more than one goal scored is former forward Long Tan. He scored two goals against FC Tucson on May 19, 2016. No player on the current PHX roster has scored a USOC goal for the club.
Better late than never
Of PHX's 16 goals in USOC play, the team has scored ten of them in the second half. Of those ten goals, six of them have been scored in the 80th minute or later.
Scoring for other teams
Just one player on the current PHX roster has even scored a goal in USOC play. Forward Adam Jahn scored a 114th-minute equalizer for the Columbus Crew in the fourth round of the tournament last season. Jahn also converted his penalty kick but the Crew eventually lost to the Chicago Fire in pens, 12-11.
This feels familiar
Head coach Rick Schantz and midfielder Jon Bakero have previous experience working together in the U.S. Open Cup. In 2016, Bakero played under Schantz with then-USL League Two side FC Tucson during the club's Open Cup run. Bakero started both matches of the team's run. TUC won its first-round match, 3-0, before falling 5-0 in the second round to Arizona United.
USL Championship showdown
This will be just the third time in the club's USOC history that PHX plays a fellow USL Championship side. The team is 1-1-0 in those previous matches, eliminating OKC Energy FC in 2014 and being eliminated by COS Switchbacks FC in 2016.
Check off another state
NM will be the first club from New Mexico that PHX has played in the USOC. In nine previous matches, PHX has played four California clubs, two Arizona clubs, and one club each from, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Oregon.
Wild first meeting
This will be the second-ever meeting between PHX and NM. The clubs met in PHX's home opener on March 16, a wild 3-3 draw. In that match, PHX equalized three times for the hard-earned point at Casino Arizona Field. Solomon Asante scored a brace in that match while Jason Johnson added a goal of his own. Former Rising player Kevaughn Frater scored a goal for NM.
Pros causing trouble
Following wins in its first two USOC matches, PHX has managed just two wins in its last seven USOC games. Both of those wins came against amateur sides. The last time PHX beat a professional club in the tournament was on May 29, 2014, against OKC Energy FC.